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Operation “Hogwarts” - getting into YC’s w2013 batch (eytanlevit.com)
11 points by benjlang 1845 days ago | hide | past | web | 13 comments | favorite

It seems to me that people are more interested into getting into YC than starting interesting businesses. That is probably because the selection process is selective and talked about everywhere, so getting in must be good, right?

The truth is (and it's been repeated all over when discussing these "hack YC" articles), there's only working strategy to get into YC : be good. It's not an end in itself ; building a business is.

Appreciate the feedback, but the contrary is true. I'm currently building a business and I find YC a great place to kickstart it from.

This is my 3rd company, in my previous two actually dismissed the value of a strong network, mentorship and sitting in Silicon Valley.

Applying to YC in the earliest stages of this company is actually me not making the same mistake I did with my previous startup(raised $350K, busted asses for almost 2 years but failed).

Well, don't misunderstand me; I wish you the best for your future business! But to me it looks like bad means to an end.

As an entrepreneur, I believe that you can get known through more classic initiatives. It reminds me of a french deputy who used a hunger strike to defend his cause : noble end but terrible means.

I think that any feedback is a form of caring, so I really appreciate you even writing a response.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing, even though I might try to be contrary, I'm still listening to everything written here in the comments, and it will be a factor in future decisions.

Anyway, I agree it's not a classy move, much more classy would be to apply with an amazing demo, paying customers and a co-founder, but this is what I think will happen when I'll apply in the next batch.

The only decision I had to make was to myself: do I want to start y combinator without traction and co-founder - and I decided that I do.

Once I've reached that decision - I allocated a week for the whole effort and did whatever came to mind to get applied.

If I don't get accepted, I hope next round I'll come stronger - tractionwise.


Couldn't agree more with you.

While I really applaud his tenacity, I don't think that this is what Paul had in mind when he said "relentlessly resourceful". I borders on stalking. It's one thing to have a product and try to get YC's attention, it's a completely different thing to just promote the fact that you are applying. The time and money would have been better spent on his prototype. I don't like it.

Appreciate your feedback, take into account that my budget is $100 and it took me 1 day to set this up.

I actually limited the whole YC application process to 1 week, before it and now I'm talking with multiple potential customers, building an MVP and even got 2 investment offers.

Truthfully, I'm not sure if it's stalking or not, and I'm not sure if it was a good move or not, but the risk/reward here was good enough.

For me being an entrepreneur is executing a lot of different ideas I get to reach my goals, knowing that most will fail, not letting it decrease my speed.

Btw, the whole thing was worth it even if I don't get to YC, as it got some people to reach out to me and helped me solve a problem I was currently working on - how to get american parents to be interviewed by me(problem interview).

Again, I appreciate your feedback and if this move fails, it might be because your thoughts are exactly what YC partners think about this - in that case it will be another lesson learned.

In my advertising classes in college we used to hear about these exact same "campaigns" people would do to get a job in the advertising world. It may work in the tech world, but I feel like this just adds clutter not value to the world. At least you're determined though, good luck for real.


This is such a non-respectful thing to do to YC partners.

I actually told about this to a few YC alumni and VCs before doing it, and got positive responses.

This feels so gimmicky. If I had heard what it was you were doing, but not for whom or for what purpose, I would be inclined to believe this was either a joke or else attention-seeking for its own sake.

I can't decide whether if I was a YC partner and I was getting Google Ad Words for my name whether I'd be impressed, or creeped out. Possibly a bit of both.

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